Occupiers continued to flock to offices in Solihull and along the M42 corridor during the second quarter of 2019. Birmingham Business Park was once again the dominant office location, securing 49% of the space transacted in the quarter.
Malcolm Jones, Head of Office Agency, calculates that 13 transactions, of which KWB was involved in nine, were completed in the three-month spell, accounting for 60,000 sq ft of Grade ‘A’ office space.
The figure is ahead of the same period in 2018 – when just over 55,000 sq ft changed hands via 14 deals – underlining the area’s continued appeal.
Malcolm says: “It’s very pleasing to see the market ahead of Q2 a year ago, given the ongoing political and economic uncertainty. Judging by enquiry levels, we’ll also see a strong third quarter, proving that the fundamentals of the M42 corridor and Solihull are still so strong.
“The connectivity via road, rail and air is excellent, even before the new Birmingham Interchange comes on stream and HS2 arrives, the labour market is always buoyant, and of course, it’s a very desirable area in which to live, as well as work.”
The Q2 data continues the trend seen in Q1, when 14 deals were completed along the M42, the best quarter for almost four years, accounting for 120,000 sq ft.
Birmingham Business Park has continued to dominate, accounting for 31,336 sq ft of space, and the two largest lettings, of 13,172 sq ft – to GKN at 2100 The Crescent, and 9,854 sq ft – to the British Heart Foundation at Compton House.
Malcolm says those transactions also demonstrate that the M42 corridor attracts a remarkably varied range of occupiers.
“You might expect the small office market in this area to appeal to companies which work in the automotive or aerospace sectors, but every year we see inquiries from a very wide array of potential occupiers, and it’s been no different so far in 2019,” he says.
“If you look at the other 11 transactions, they range from software developers to a lighting business, and from a tax consultancy to a maritime systems provider from Norway.”
However, Jones remains concerned about the dearth of larger office units along the corridor, which he recently suggested needed developers to bring forward HQ-style building of c80,000 sq ft on a speculative basis.
“The Q2 data perfectly illustrates the challenge, as all bar one of the 13 deals are for less than 10,000 sq ft. Looking forward, the lack of more substantial chunks of Grade ‘A’ office space is the only thing which could hold this market back.”
KWB is one of the most active office agents in Solihull and the M42 corridor. Each quarter, we produce comprehensive M42 and Solihull Office Market Research, listing all the office transactions and providing our view of the current and future market. See further details about the current research for 2018 full year and latest Q1 2019. See also full details of the transactions featured in the M42 and Solihull office market research for 2018 and 2019 to date.